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Vixen Vent: The Deeper Issues Behind the Death of Miriam Carey

The shooting death of dental hygienist Miriam Carey on Thursday was shocking, tragic and caused all those watching to ask the question, “why?” The 34-year-old ran her car through a White House barricade and then led the police on a high speed chase that resulted in the young woman being gunned down while her 1-year-old daughter was in the backseat. There was a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

Family members of Carey told news outlets that she suffered from psychosis and postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter last August. Reports state that she was fired from her position as a dental hygienist in Connecticut in August of this year and stopped taking her medication prior to her fatal trip to Washington D.C. The question that comes to mind is if this woman was crying out for help? Was life becoming too overwhelming for her in every aspect and therefore she knew that her actions would bring her death?

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This is another case of an African American suffering from mental illness and not receiving the proper medical attention to address the underlying issues she was facing. Yes, she was taking medication, but history has shown us with the untimely deaths of many celebrities, that drugs simply numb the pain, not get rid of it. In the case of Miriam Carey, postpartum depression is a diagnosis not widely addressed. Studies have shown that post partum is more likely in African American women. This diagnosis is often frowned upon by others because a mother admitting that she is not overjoyed about the birth of her child is viewed as cold. The criticism is that a woman who is overtaken by sadness after the birth of her child is not worthy of being a mother.  I am a mother. I can relate to the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and at times sad when you first have a child. The sleepless nights, endless crying, not being able to eat or having the energy to even go out for a walk can have very adverse effects on a new mother. Your life changes literally in a blink of an eye. Some adjust with ease and others go through bouts of depression. When I felt down I got through it by calling other mothers who could relate to how I was feeling and ensuring me that it would pass. I am thankful that it did, but what about those who aren’t so fortunate?  Carey obviously wasn’t in her right mind because she went on her reckless driving spree with her infant daughter in the backseat. She surely was not thinking about what would happen to her little girl. There are tons of cases of women who suffered from postpartum psychosis who either killed their child(ren) or killed both themselves and their child(ren). Simply throwing drugs at people with mental illnesses is not the solution. This is a "solution" society seems to accept with open arms.

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Although Carey’s family knew of her mental instability they were in another state and therefore didn’t witness firsthand just how bad it was. The death of Miriam Carey was devastating and it is a miracle that her baby girl wasn’t harmed in the barrage of gunfire.

This incident sheds lights on two very important issues. The first is the need for a bigger discussion about how to access and deal with post-partum depression. The second is the obsession of officers to handle situations with the “shoot to kill” approach. I thought that this method was supposed to be the last tactic in order to stop an assailant, not the first.

Carey’s actions were indeed a cry for help. It could have been heard if officers shot out her tires instead of ending her life. This way we would be able to really get to the root of the problem instead of having endless speculations.

The Black community must talk more, judge less and stop suffering in silence. If you suffer from postpartum, don’t be ashamed. Speak up, seek help (not just medication) and take the proper steps to be a better parent and overall happier individual.

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va DuVernay speaks onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 10th annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay And Theaster Gates To Lead Diversity Council For Prada

Major luxury brands like Prada and Gucci have been under fire since releasing luxury items with racial undertones. Sparking controversy that is not easily repaired with public apologies, Prada has announced a Diversity and Inclusion Council lead by director Ava DuVernay and social practice installation artist Theaster Gates.

Gates and DuVernay, who have used their art in social justice missions will join " Prada’s initiative to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large.” The pair will also help the brand provide the opportunity for designers of color to obtain internships and apprenticeships that are inclusive of diverse communities.

In a statement to WWD, Miuccia Prada, Prada’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lead Creative Director stated explained the brand's willingness to learn from their own mistakes while actively including creative of color in the company.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company, Prada said. "In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

The Diversity Council will work alongside the company's Social Responsibility department to recommend strategic approaches within the next few months.

 

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Cast of 'Boomerang' (L to R): Ari (Leland Martin), David (RJ Walker), Bryson (Tequan Richmond)
Kareem Black/BET

BET’s 'Boomerang' Recap: Can You Really Hate The Player?

It’s game night at Bryson’s crib and at this point, you have to wonder if he’s playing himself. Clubs ain’t for everybody, especially Bryson who would much rather spend a Friday night shouting out clues to his boo Simone. Judging by her uncanny ability to keep it real in episode one, it should be pretty obvious that Simone hates playing games, but we digress.

The ladies arrive after a walk and talk of d**k appointments and the gentlemen’s faces are beaming with schoolboy joy. The friend zone portal Bryson always finds himself in opens up even wider when new dudes come to join in on the fun. Simone’s excitement to “meet new people” has Bryson feeling so jealous that he damn near blows steam when an almondy young man accidentally bumps into her. Its official: Bryson’s insecurity level has reached a 10.

As Tara reluctantly Insastories the night’s dull festivities, Ari gives his homie Bryson the cold, hard truth: Simone does not want his a**. Out on the balcony, Crystal and David (RJ Walker) have a moment; the two clearly have history. A shared beer and a couple of laughs reveal that David is an aspiring preacher, begging us to wonder if that’s why little Creflo’s relationship with Crystal didn’t last. The newly invited pizza guy, Shawn, makes his crush on Simone crystal clear and Bryson. Loses. His. Sh*t. Damn, we heard the friend zone was a cold place but we never thought it was that brick. Simone and her new eye candy rendezvous en route to and from the bathroom where Shawn makes a very forward ask to keep Simone company in her bed.  We’re not even going to hold you all, Simone was out; my mans didn’t even have to ask her twice. Le sigh. Poor Bryson. He just keeps taking L after L.

Okay, so remember kitchen bae who bumped into Simone making Bryson get all Mighty Mouse? Well, the gag is, his eyes are just for Ari (Leland B. Martin) and the two make their exit for a steamy hot tub sesh. Bryson feels stupid now, but at least someone is getting a happy ending.  Confused as to why the love of his life doesn’t view him the same, Bryson looks to pastor David for some well-needed reaffirmations. Repeat after me: Everything happens in God’s timing. A spirit of prayer, a childhood photo, and spin of Ahmad’s “Back In The Day” is just what Bryson needs to finally feel the relief he was yearning for all night.

This season of BET’s Boomerang looks like it will be filled with bomb hairstyles, plenty of passion, and some “aww sh*****t” moments.

Tune in to Boomerang on BET every Tuesday at 10/9c to see if this nice guy will ever finish first.

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